Photo by Ned Dishman/NHLI via Getty Images
The weekly NoVa Caps team power rankings continue this week as we are now in the month of November. After the big 3-team Matt Duchene trade over the weekend, will the big splash have an impact on the rankings?
Let’s look at the new power rankings this week:
1. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (1)
2. LOS ANGELES KINGS (2)
3. ST. LOUIS BLUES (3)
4. NEW JERSEY DEVILS (5)
5. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (4)
6. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (8)
7. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (7)
8. OTTAWA SENATORS (9)
9. NEW YORK ISLANDERS (NR)
10. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (6)
Note: These rankings will change every week
*(#) indicates last week’s ranking
*”NR” indicates “Not Ranked”
News and notes around the NHL:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (11-2-2) – It was not the prettiest week for the Lightning, but they came away with 2 out of 3 wins. They defeated the Florida Panthers in a wild high scoring game, and defeated the Blue Jackets 5-4 in the shootout. Steven Stamkos is among the league leaders with 25 points in 15 games. Nikita Kucherov is leading the NHL’s goal-scoring race with 14 goals. Rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev is having a nice start to his season, as he has put up 12 points. The Lightning are rolling, but they will have a tough week ahead as they venture to California for a 3-game road trip.
2. Los Angeles Kings (10-2-2) – Somehow, the Kings are still winning games, even without star centreman Jeff Carter. Anze Kopitar is quietly leading the club with 17 points. Jonathan Quick has been excellent in goal, as he has 8 wins, 1.99 goals against average, .939 save percentage, and 2 shutouts. While the Kings lost 2 games this week, the deficits were small in their losses. The Kings have a nice schedule of games coming up, as they play 5 out of their next 6 games at home.
3. St. Louis Blues (11-3-1) – The Blues had 2 quality wins this week, against the Kings and Maple Leafs. The Blues are getting good production from Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo, which is giving them a more balanced attack. Vladimir Tarasenko is 2nd on the team with 16 points. The Blues have a good team, with excellent blueline depth and quality 3rd and 4th lines. The Blues look like a contender early on, and if they can get consistency with goaltending, should be a favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
4. New Jersey Devils (9-3-1) – The Devils are a surprise in the first month of the season. Cory Schneider stole the show in Vancouver earlier this week, as he shut out his old team 2-0. Unfortunately for the Devils, they lost their games in Edmonton and Calgary later in the week. The Devils return home for 3 straight games, and will then hit the road to Chicago on Sunday. Taylor Hall has heated up, and even scored a goal against his former club, the Edmonton Oilers, on Friday night. The youth movement is beginning to pay off in New Jersey, as they currently lead the Metropolitan Division race early.
5. Vegas Golden Knights (9-4-0) – After dropping 2 games in New York and 1 in Boston, the Golden Knights responded with a big 5-4 victory over Ottawa. The Golden Knights are now on their 4th goalie, as Maxime Legace is now the man in between the pipes after a slew of goaltender injuries. The Golden Knights have a back-to-back scenario to close out their long road trip, and they will return home later in the week to face Winnipeg. As of right now, the Golden Knights have said they have no intention on trading for any goaltenders.
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (9-4-1) – The Jackets are still hanging around, looking to find their groove. They defeated Boston and Florida earlier in the week, but lost to Tampa in the shootout. It appears that Cam Atkinson will miss some time with an injury, which will hurt the Jackets scoring. The Jackets still have plenty of young talent that can get them through Atkinson’s loss. Seth Jones and Artemi Panarin currently lead the Jackets with 11 points. Defenseman Zach Werenski has recorded 3 points in his last 2 games. The Jackets have a busy week this week with 4 games, with the games being split in 2 back-to-back sets.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs (8-7-0) – The Leafs did not have a very good weak on the road. They went 1-2 in California before dropping another game to the St. Louis Blues. The Leafs are involved in a lot of high scoring affairs, and Auston Matthews may not be available for them at the start of this week. The Leafs have 3 straight home games, which includes a home-and-home series with Boston over the weekend. The defense and goaltending must improve for the Leafs as they approach the holiday season.
8. Ottawa Senators (6-3-5) – Ottawa made the most noise this week, as they finally got Matt Duchene via a 3-team deal. The Senators had to give up Kyle Turris and other parts to get Duchene, but they got who they were chasing for over a year. The Senators have been looking for a top center for a long time, and Duchene should fit right in to Guy Boucher’s system. The Senators lost big to Montreal earlier in the week, and lost to Vegas in a close game. The Senators will now head to Sweden for back-to-back games with Colorado.
9. New York Islanders (8-5-1) – The Islanders are rolling right now, as they are 7-3 in their last 10 games. John Tavares and Josh Bailey are leading the team with 18 points. Matthew Barzal had 5 assists against the Colorado Avalanche over the weekend. The Islanders have a young, fast team that is fun to watch. If they can find some consistency with their goaltending, they should be in the Metropolitan Division race.
10. Pittsburgh Penguins (8-6-2) – The Penguins are still struggling to find their footing in the East. They have given up the most goals against among the Eastern Conference clubs. They have a -16 team goal differential. Their trip to Western Canada did not go well, as they went 1-2-1. The Penguins will return home briefly to face the Coyotes, before they hit the road again to face Washington and Nashville over the weekend. The Penguins have been wildly inconsistent to begin this season, but they are still somehow in the Metropolitan Division race.
By: George Foussekis